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NUTRIOSE® 06: a useful soluble

dietary fibre for added
nutritional value
C. Lefranc-Millot
Nutrition Management, ROQUETTE Group, Lestrem, France

to one definition (Roberfroid 2005) and to different

Introduction notices published by official committees in different
The World Health Organization and Food and Agricul- countries (e.g. Italy and France), it is a soluble dietary
ture Organisation (WHO/FAO 2002) currently recom- fibre. It can therefore be added to make up to 20–25%
mend that the well-balanced diet required to help (w/w) of a foodstuff and is officially recognised and
control the global epidemic of obesity and for prevent- labelled as soluble fibre in many countries. As such, it
ing diet-related chronic diseases should include: a bal- can be one very useful tool to help achieve the nutri-
anced energy intake (55–70% from total carbohydrates, tional ‘fibre’ goal of the WHO/FAO. In addition to this,
15–30% from total fat and 10–15% from total pro- more and more evidence is emerging about the benefits
teins); foods that release their energy slowly, that is, only that NUTRIOSE® can contribute to health as part of a
about 10% total energy from quickly digested sugars balanced diet, such as reduced blood glucose response
(mono- and disaccharides); and about 40% from and improved gut health. It also offers an outstanding
complex sugars, such as fibres. digestive tolerance threshold, allowing its consumption
The recommended daily intake of fibre is variable in in the amounts best suited to achieving the desired ben-
different countries, but is around 30 g per day per eficial changes in the gut ecosystem. An overview of
person in most European countries using fibre quantifi- these and other nutritional properties, already described
cation based on the Association of Official Analytical in published papers or in papers in press, will be given in
Chemists (AOAC) 2001–03 method (Gordon & Okuma this paper. Moreover, as a completely soluble fibre, with-
2002). This efficient, widely recognised and reliable standing extreme conditions of temperature and pro-
enzymatic-gravimetric high-performance liquid chroma- cessing, and very well tolerated when consumed, it is an
tography (HPLC) method was proposed to the AOAC ideal ingredient for fortifying the fibre content of food
for the determination of total dietary fibre in foods and drink; we will briefly conclude on its technical and
containing resistant maltodextrin, and is mainly charac- industrial advantages.
terised by the fact that it also takes into account low
molecular weight resistant oligosaccharides using What is NUTRIOSE®?
HPLC, unlike the previous conventional AOAC 985-29
method (Prosky et al. 1985), and the Englyst one Made from starch, NUTRIOSE® can be described as a
(Englyst et al. 1982), which is still used as a reference in resistant dextrin. A wide range of dextrins exist for
the UK (see Buttriss & Stokes 2008). A resistant dextrin, human consumption, for nutrition or pharmaceutical
branded under the range’s name NUTRIOSE® (NUTRI- purposes. NUTRIOSE® can be made from either wheat
OSE® 06 manufactured by ROQUETTE, Lestrem, starch (NUTRIOSE® FB range) or maize starch
France) was launched in 2004 after many years of (NUTRIOSE® FM range), using a highly controlled
research. It is mostly resistant to digestion in the small process of dextrinisation. During this process, the starch
intestine and largely fermented in the colon. According undergoes a degree of hydrolysis followed by repoly-
merisation. It is this repolymerisation that converts the
Correspondence: Dr Catherine Lefranc-Millot, Scientific
starch into fibre, by causing non-digestible glycosidic
Communication Manager, Nutrition Management, ROQUETTE bonds to be formed, which cannot be cleaved by
Group, 62080 Lestrem, France. enzymes in the digestive tract, and in addition, causes
E-mail: some hindrance to the cleavage of the digestible bonds

234 © 2008 Roquette Freres copyright Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 234–239

Benefits of NUTRIOSE® 06 in nutrition 235

Figure 1 Structural formula of NUTRIOSE® 06.

(Fig. 1). Dextrinisation is followed by a separation step,

which ensures the optimum molecular weight distribu- Table 1 Indicative values of glycosidic bonds distributions (in %)
tion to give consistent rheological and technical perfor- respectively in (1) NUTRIOSE® 06; (2) standard maltodextrin
mance and also the right amount of fibre, which is 85% (GLUCIDEX®, ROQUETTE, Lestrem, France); and (3) starch
for NUTRIOSE® 06 according to the AOAC method
Type of osidic linkages (1) (2) (3)
2001–03 (Gordon & Okuma 2002; Roturier et al.
2003; Roturier & Looten 2006). The product is then (1,4) 41 95 95
put through further refining steps, including removal of (1,6) 32 5 5
simple sugars to obtain a content of mono- and disac- (1,2) 13 0 0
charides below 0.5% on dry substance, and is finally (1,3) 14 0 0
spray-dried. Therefore, although a glucose polymer,
NUTRIOSE® 06 may thus be considered sugar-free.
About 25% of its osidic linkages are not hydrolysed by per g (1.7 kcal per g) based on the marketable form
human digestive enzymes (Table 1). It is totally soluble and this value is consistent with clinical determination
in cold water without inducing viscosity, thanks to its in healthy young men (Vermorel et al. 2004) and in
fibre content, its analytical characteristics and further agreement with the consensual caloric value of soluble
physiological properties that we will describe hereafter. dietary fibres (Livesey 1992). This value can be used
Foods containing this product are consequently able to for energy content determination for foods in Europe
claim ‘source of fibre’ or ‘rich in fibre’ if content criteria (Coussement 2001). Unlike standard starch and like a
defined by the European Commission regulation are resistant one, NUTRIOSE® 06 is actually partially
respected (European Commission 2007). For the record, hydrolysed in the upper part of the digestive tract (Ver-
a claim that a food is a source of fibre, and any claim morel et al. 2004): only 15% is enzymatically digested
likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may in the small intestine, while the rest passes to the
only be made where the product contains at least 3 g of colon, where 75% of the initial amount is slowly and
fibre per 100 g or at least 1.5 g of fibre per 100 kcal. A progressively fermented in the large intestine and 10%
claim that a food is high in fibre, and any claim likely to is excreted (Van den Heuvel et al. 2004).
have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be
made where the product contains at least 6 g of fibre per
100 g or at least 3 g of fibre per 100 kcal. Glycaemic and insulinaemic responses of
How is NUTRIOSE® 06 digested?
In addition to simply increasing the fibre content of
By application of equations published by Roberfroid foods, NUTRIOSE® 06 may also have a potential role
(1999), the caloric value of NUTRIOSE® 06 is 7.1 kJ in weight management, because of its ability to provide

© 2008 Roquette Freres copyright Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 234–239

236 C. Lefranc-Millot

long-lasting energy. A key index that has become Possible role in weight management
accepted as an indicator of the ability of carbohydrate
to prevent diseases of lifestyle and to help to reduce the The benefits of including more fibre in the diet are well
incidence of obesity is the glycaemic index (GI). This acknowledged. In addition to simply increasing the fibre
measures the glycaemic response (an indication of the content of foods, NUTRIOSE® 06 may also help to
rate at which the blood glucose level rises and how it is delay the return of the sensation of hunger (Van den
sustained over time) after the ingestion of carbohydrate Heuvel et al. 2004), which is consistent with previous
foods. The GI is defined as the incremental area under observations and reviews on topics such as the influ-
the blood glucose response curve of a 50 g carbohy- ences on satiation and post-ingestive satiety of foods
drate portion of a test food, expressed as a percent of with a low GI (Bellisle 2008) and high-fibre content
the glucose response to the same amount of carbohy- (Slavin & Green 2007). Therefore, and as will be
drate from a standard food taken by the same subject attested by shortly published results of a recent clinical
(FAO 1998). The insulinaemic index (II), generally cor- study, NUTRIOSE® 06 has a potential role in weight
related to the GI, is similarly defined as the incremental management. Indeed, dietary intervention using
area under the blood insulin response curve of a 50 g NUTRIOSE® 06 supplementation as a soluble fibre sig-
carbohydrate portion of a test food expressed as a per nificantly modified some biological markers and
cent of the insulin response to the same amount of reduced some of the risk factors usually associated with
carbohydrate from a standard food taken by the same the metabolic syndrome in 120 overweight men (unpub-
subject. The GI and II seem relevant for some nutri- lished observations). Moreover, the effects on vigilance
tional considerations dealing with sustained physical and cognitive performances after NUTRIOSE® 06
effort and also for appetite regulation, with lower GI administration suggest that the glycaemic response is
foods being the better choice in both cases. An impor- not the only factor to be considered for predicting
tant consideration is that GI values can also be deter- the efficiency of a food ingredient on the two initially
mined for mixed meals and whole diets. When mentioned parameters (Rozan et al. 2008). This point,
NUTRIOSE® 06 is ingested it induces low glycaemic together with the previously mentioned results on
(glucose response = 25) and insulinaemic responses weight management, lead us to put forward the idea
(insulin response = 13) (Donazzolo et al. 2003). It can that the colonic effects of NUTRIOSE® 06, and mainly
therefore be used as a slow energy release carbohydrate the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as
to partially or totally replace other carbohydrates, such contributors to the daily energy supply, are also key
as sugars and starches. For example, when used in a factors in providing a long-lasting energy supply. This
concentrated fruit drink (Fig. 2) and consumed point remains to be clearly demonstrated by clinical
after dilution with water, syrups made with NUTRI- studies that will be complicated to design with unques-
OSE® 06 elicit a glucose response of only 10% of the tionable markers in humans. Indeed, products should
equivalent product made with sugar (Lefranc-Millot be, for example, tested in ileostomised patients, which is
et al. 2006a). not always easy to implement or ethically acceptable.

Figure 2 Mean change in human blood glucose concentrations after the ingestion of either NUTRIOSE® 06-based syrup (based on concentrated fruit syrup
including 18.3 g per 100 g NUTRIOSE® 06), commercial syrup reference (both products being similarly diluted, as prescribed by the manufacturer) or 50 g
anhydrous glucose ingestion. Compared with glucose, the mean glycaemic response (GR) value for the commercial syrup (51 ! 6) is significantly higher
(P = 0.001) than the mean GR value for the NUTRIOSE® 06-based syrup (6 ! 3).

© 2008 Roquette Freres copyright Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 234–239

Benefits of NUTRIOSE® 06 in nutrition 237

Moreover, the results obtained are not necessarily rep-

resentative of those that would be obtained in healthy

Prebiotic effects
Numerous definitions of prebiotics with more or less
subtle variations have been given in the past decades.
Common well-known prebiotics in use include, in
particular, various types of oligosaccharides (e.g. inulin,
fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides)
(Alexiou & Franck 2008), having a long history of safe
use, although there is some concern about excess pro-
duction of digestive gas in the gut when consumed in
large amounts. However, new types of compounds
claiming prebiotic properties are also emerging, induc-
ing a need for a broader definition of prebiotic effects
and reflecting more recent understanding of the micro-
bial ecology of the human microbiota. Taking all these
considerations into account, the FAO has very recently Figure 3 One example of saccharolytic flora (Bacteroides) increased in
revised the definition of a prebiotic as ‘a non-viable food human faeces after a 14-day oral administration of 10 g per day
NUTRIOSE® 06. *P < 0.05.
component that confers a health benefit on the host
associated with modulation of the microbiota’ (FAO
Focusing on the physiological effects observed after
prebiotic ingestion, NUTRIOSE® has been studied
according to one definition (Woods & Gorbach 2001)
characterising a prebiotic by: ‘an increase in “beneficial
bacteria” and/or a decrease in “harmful bacteria,” a
decrease in intestinal pH, production of SCFAs and
changes in bacterial enzymes concentrations’. NUTRI-
OSE® 06 has been shown to display all these prebiotic
effects through colonic fermentations. The different
results are derived from many studies, carried out in
vitro, in animals (rats) and in humans (Van den Heuvel
et al. 2005; Lefranc-Millot et al. 2006b; Pasman et al.
2006). These fermentations benefit the colonocytes in
the digestive epithelium, encourage an increase in the
population of beneficial glucidolytic flora (Fig. 3),
decrease colonic pH (Fig. 4) and subsequently decrease
potentially pathogenic flora (e.g. the number of
Clostridium perfringens decreases significantly in
human faeces after a 14-day administration of 15 g per
Figure 4 pH of human faeces before and after a 14-day administration of
day NUTRIOSE® 06, P < 0.05). The production of 20 g per day NUTRIOSE® 06. *P < 0.05.
SCFAs from the fermentation of carbohydrates in the
colon also contributes a significant quantity to the
body’s daily energy supply, as the SCFAs are used as This slow and progressive fermentation is in contrast
metabolic fuel. Because this fermentation is not sudden to some other soluble fibres where rapid fermentation
but is progressive through the colon, the sustained pro- may cause digestive discomfort such as bloating, flatu-
duction of SCFAs, in addition to the initial release of lence and diarrhoea. When consumed in the quantity
glucose from the partial digestion in the small intestine, specified to give the claimed nutritional benefit, NUTRI-
makes NUTRIOSE® 06 a long-lasting source of energy. OSE® 06 is outstandingly well tolerated, with a thresh-

© 2008 Roquette Freres copyright Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 234–239

238 C. Lefranc-Millot

old of 45 g per day producing no symptoms of digestive preventative solutions including a way to reduce energy
discomfort at all and no occurrence of diarrhoeal events density, while being very easy to use. More detailed
at a dosage of 100 g per day (Van den Heuvel et al. information on some of the properties briefly described
2004; Vermorel et al. 2004; Lefranc-Millot et al. 2006b; previously will soon be detailed in new scientific papers
Pasman et al. 2006). currently in press.

Future research
Apart from the clinical results obtained in overweight
people, a cholesterol-lowering effect of NUTRIOSE® 06 Alexiou A & Franck A (2008) Prebiotic inulin-type fructans: nutri-
tional benefits beyond dietary fibre source. Nutrition Bulletin 33:
has been demonstrated in moderately hypercholester-
olemic hamsters (Juhel et al. 2007). This effect is likely Bellisle F (2008) Functional foods and the satiety cascade. Nutrition
to be related to reduced cholesterol and bile salt absorp- Bulletin 33: 8–14.
tion and is promising for the prevention of moderate Buttriss JL & Stokes CS (2008) Dietary fibre and health: an over-
hypercholesterolaemia. Moreover, NUTRIOSE® 06 view. Nutrition Bulletin 33: 186–200.
appears to exhibit a promising effect on intestinal well- Coussement P (2001) Regulatory issues relating to dietary fiber in
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involved in the regulation of pain and the regulation of
Donazzolo Y, Pelletier X, Cristiani I et al. (2003) Glycemic and
inflammation in mice. These preliminary results suggest insulinemic indexes of NUTRIOSE® FB in healthy subjects.
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1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20
This ingredient is easy to process and consume because December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods.
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© 2008 Roquette Freres copyright Nutrition Bulletin, 33, 234–239